Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Viewing Guide

Back for another edition of the Weekend Viewing Guide, this time with a new twist. A prediction for each game. Now if you've been reading this blog for an extended amount of time, take heed that I'm less than excellent at making predictions, so take all of these with a grain of salt.

I've seen this picture in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Detroit Free Press just in the past two days. I wonder who this guy is and where else this picture ran?

Before I begin, though, I thought I'd point out an interesting article in today's New York Times about possible crime increases now that people finally seem to be accepting that this country is in a full blown recession. For what it's worth:

Expert opinions differ, but the question is hardly illogical. The last time stocks on Wall Street fell hard, in 1987, crime was exploding, and the city saw historic highs in murders in the following years.

Before that, the fiscal crisis of the 1970s helped lead to the abandonment of neighborhoods, failing schools and startling crime rates: robberies built through those years to a high in 1981, when there were 107,495 of them, for an average of 294 a day. (Last year’s total reported robberies, 21,787, was the lowest figure in modern history.)

“Every recession since the late ’50s has been associated with an increase in crime and, in particular, property crime and robbery, which would be most responsive to changes in economic conditions,” said Richard Rosenfeld, a sociologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Typically, he said, “there is a year lag between the economic change and crime rates.”

Now onto the Viewing Guide:
Friday Night
NLCS Game 2, FOX 4:30 pm
ALCS Game 1, TBS 8:30 pm

Last night's 3-2 victory over the Dodgers was a must win for the Phillies considering Cole Hamels was on the mound, but I expect to see a vintage performance out of Jamie Moyer tonight as well. As much as I wanted to jump on that Dodger bandwagon in hopes of a Manny Ramirez "coronation" at Fenway in the World Series, I just can't fully embrace them. Think about the big flops they have on their bench right now, including Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, and Nomar Garciaparra. It's just no fun to root for a team that makes a mistake and then is able to cover it up with more money.

I think this Tampa/Boston series has all the makings of a classic ... or it could be a four or five game trouncing by the Red Sox based on their pitching matchups being set up just how they like them. If the Rays can get to Daisuke tonight (in my opinion that's going to happen) then this thing could go the distance. If Daisuke pitches well and the Sox win, coupled with Beckett and Lester looming in Games 2 and 3, I don't like the Rays chances.
Prediction: Phillies, Rays win tonight

No. 5 Texas vs. No. 1 Oklahoma, Noon ABC
Toledo at Michigan, Noon Big Ten Network

Lucky me, I probably will only be able to catch the ends of both of these games (hopefully only one will be close because if they both are I might just start thinking about the good ol' days of La Lloyd) since one of the high school soccer teams I cover is on the verge of a division title and I have to cover their game Saturday at noon (Sounds exciting, right?) The National title Texas won with Vince Young covered up the disturbing fact that Mack Brown is 4-15 against the top 10 during his tenure in Austin. I fully expect that ugly pattern from before the Vince Young era, where the Red River Rivalry (a television anchor's worst nightmare, you try saying those three R's in a row) would get huge hype, only to end up in a Sooner blowout.
Prediction: Oklahoma 42 Texas 24, Michigan 31, Toledo 20

Notre Dame at No. 22 North Carolina, ABC 3:30 pm
No. 4 LSU at No. 11 Florida, CBS 8 pm
No. 6 Penn State at Wisconsin, ESPN 8 pm
No. 17 Oklahoma State at No. 3 Missouri, ESPN2 8 pm
ALCS Game 2, TBS 8 pm

Man, lots of quality choices on the menu for Saturday night viewing. The college football would be enough for me, but throw in the ALCS and you've probably got too much to handle at one point. I'm going to be at the Caps season opener, but I'll be in the press box where I'm assuming there will be plenty of televisions going. If not, there's a chance I might be across the street at Rocket Bar watching all this shit go down on a plasma.

This is where I'll be Saturday night.

I'm most anticipating this LSU-Florida matchup, especially after one of the Tiger players said and then retracted that he wanted to rip Tim Tebow's head off. Speaking of last year's Heisman winner, he's kind of flown under the radar so far this season, but I expect that to end with a huge game Saturday night. I'm thinking four touchdowns, 350+ total yards. And as much as I love Les Miles, he's going to have to lose out on one of those risky end of game play calls one of these days. Something tells me it happens in the Swamp.

Penn State and Missouri are two teams that, at least to me, look a whole lot better after I watched Illinois in person last week. Both the Nittany Lions and the Tigers handled the Illini in prior weeks and I expect both to come out of their first real challenge since unscathed. I think Chase Daniel does just enough for Missouri and Penn State wins in an eerily similar game to last week's Ohio State-Wisco game, where Terrelle Pryor drove the Bucknuts down the field late for a touchdown. Oh yeah and expect Notre Dame to show it isn't for real this week.
Predictions: North Carolina 31 Notre Dame 17, Florida 34 LSU 31, Penn State 24 Wisconsin 20, Missouri 38 Oklahoma State 21, Sox take game 2

Rams at Redskins, FOX 1 pm
Ravens at Colts, CBS 1pm

Not too many scintillating NFL matchups early this week. If you've been in DC this past week, you've probably noticed the Skins bandwagon loading up with more and more people. As much as I love the attention the team is getting, it pains me when people come up to me for one of those "How bout them Skins" talks and then show that they know next to nothing about the team other than that they're doing well now. I'm all for more fans on the bandwagon, as long as they actually know what they're talking about. That said, I expect the Skins to come out flat this week, and the Rams to give them a game. There's no way Jim Zorn (can we start calling him the Jigga Man after Jay Z) and his troops can come out sizzling after two huge road games, especially when they're facing a moribund team like the Lambs. Still, though, I expect a win.

This week I think it's Randle El's turn to break out for a 100-yard receiving game with the Lambs focusing on Portis, Cooley, and Moss.

The Colts trouble me, deeply. They're 2-2 by the thinnest of margins, their offensive line is in shambles, their run defense is in shambles, and Marvin Harrison is making it look more and more like Anthony Gonzalez should be the No. 2 receiver these days. But Indy still has Peyton and the Ravens, for all the rah rah talk about Joe Flacco, still have a rookie quarterback. Close games always go to the guys who can deliver in crunch time, and that's the one thing the Colts have shown they are still adept at doing so far this season.
Prediction: Redskins 27 Rams 17, Colts 21 Ravens 17

Jaguars at Broncos, CBS 4:15
Patriots at Chargers, NBC 8 pm
NLCS Game 3, FOX 8 pm

My surprise pick from the preseason still sits at 4-1, but I have been deeply troubled by the past two weeks, which saw my Denver boys lose to an awful Kansas City team and barely escape with a 16-13 win over less than good Tampa Bay. We're going to learn a lot about Jay Cutler these next two weeks with games against the Jags and Pats. I think Denver wins one, and more specifically, I think they win this week in (this is my opinion) is a career-defining game for Cutler. I'm going out on a limb and say something ridiculous like a 350+ yard, 3 TD game against an average Jags secondary.

As for the Chargers, well I'm sticking by what i said about LT in the preseason: He'll never be the same after the knee injury from last year. And so far, the statistics hold true, he's averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and on pace for just over 1050 yards this year. Some of that has to do with the emergence of Phillip Rivers as more than just a game manager, therefore cutting down on LT's carries, but if I'm a Chargers fan, I'm worried. All that said, San Diego is 2-3 and another loss, coupled with my predicted Bronco win, would be devastating.
Prediction: Broncos 37 Jaguars 31, Chargers 35 Patriots 24, Dodgers return home and take game 3

No comments: